Arizona Residents Ditching Cars, Taking Transit

A new report finds that residents of Arizona are driving less—much, much less. Arizonans drive less that they did in the 1990s, in fact. Despite these trends, the state government has not adjusted its traffic forecasting models.
July 25, 2014, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Chris Curtis

Angie Schmitt shares new of a new report, "Bikes, Trains, and Less Driving [pdf]," by the Arizona Public Interest Research Group.

Here's how the report sums up its findings: "Between 2005-2012, Arizona saw a 10.5 percent decline in annual vehicle miles traveled per capita. Arizonans drive fewer total miles today than seven years ago, and fewer per person than we did in 1994."

Two of the report's takeaways, as identified by Schmitt:

  • "In notoriously sprawling Phoenix, people are starting to ditch their cars. Between 2006 and 2011, the share of households with two or more vehicles decreased 2.9 percent, PIRG reports. And the total number of cars and trucks on the state’s roads is dropping, even as the population grows."
  • "Meanwhile, transit ridership is on the rise in Arizona’s major cities. In Phoenix, between 2005 and 2010, total transit trips increased 16 percent. "

Schmitt also makes a point about how the trends in reduced VMT have yet to drive planning policy change at the state level.

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Published on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in Streetsblog USA
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